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Osteoporosis: Are You at Risk?

Table of Contents

The term ‘osteoporosis’ literally means “porous bones”. Osteoporosis is a disease that leads to severely weakened bones, thereby increasing the risk of fractures. It is a progressive disease that generally affects people over the age of 30. It is characterized by the increased loss of bone mass leading to decreased bone strength.

The main factors that increase your likelihood of developing osteoporosis include:

1. Age:

The risk of developing osteoporosis increases with age. Maximum bone density and strength are reached at the age of 30. After this bone mass naturally starts to decline.

2. Gender:

Women are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis then men, and are four times more likely to be affected. Women are more susceptible because they have lighter, thinner bones and live longer then men.

3. Ethnicity:

Research has shown that people of Asian or Caucasian descent are more likely to develop osteoporosis.

4. Family History:

Heredity is one of the major factors in determining an individuals’ risk of developing osteoporosis. Having a parent or grandparent suffering from or displaying signs of osteoporosis, such as fractured hip after a minor fall, puts you at greater risk.

5. Bone Structure:

Bone structure and body weight also influence the onset of osteoporosis. Petite and thin individuals are more likely to get osteoporosis then people with larger frames and higher body weight.

6. Smoking and Alcohol Abuse:

Heavy smoking and drinking increases the risk of developing osteoporosis. It can lead to thinning of bones and therefore increase the likelihood of fractures.

7. Sedentary Lifestyle:

People who put in long sitting hours are more likely to get osteoporosis as compared to those who are active. Making exercise a regular part of your life can go a long way in keeping the condition at bay.

8. Certain Diseases:

A number of diseases lead to an increased risk of osteoporosis. Rheumatoid Arthritis is one such disease.

Apart from the factors mentioned above, the use of certain medicines can heighten one’s risk of developing the disease. For instance, the long-term use of steroids has been linked to osteoporosis. Consult your health care provider to better understand your risks.

Medically Approved By Dr. Edward Salko, MD

Dr. Edward Salko is the board-certified physician who reviews lab tests provided by PERSONALABS™. He earned his Bachelor of Science in chemistry and pre-med from the University of Florida in Gainesville and his Doctor of Osteopathy Medicine in 1980 from Kansas City University School of Medicine.

Dr. Salko’s career has specialized in family and emergency medicine. His passion is to provide clients with the tools they need in the most convenient way possible to allow them to take charge of their own healthcare. He has held a variety of positions in Kansas, Florida and Washington. Currently, in addition to his duties as Medical Director for Personalabs, he is a practicing emergency physician in Kennewick, Washington.

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